Opaque Counterpoint
Artist HALEM, Henry
Birth 1938, New York, United States of America
   
Title Self-portrait
Date 1973
Place Kent, Ohio, USA
Medium cast glass
Dims 39.9 x 24.1 x 8.3 cm
Collection National Gallery of Australia
Creditline Crafts Board of the Australia Council Collection 1980
AccNo 82.2323
 

Henry Halem works with a variety of glassmaking techniques in order to elicit the power of the material. His work has moved from the abstract to the figurative, but is unified in its dependence on the particular physical qualities of glass, whether flat and polished or colourless and rough-surfaced.

This work in cast glass was made after May 4, 1970, when four students demonstrating against the Vietnam War were killed at Kent State University in Ohio. Halem was then head of the glass department at that university. The work, a self-portrait, expresses the anguish of that period by using glass in a way to suggests traditional funerary statuary.

 

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Self-portrait, HALEM, Henry; 1973, Crafts Board of the Australia Council Collection 1980